Beetroot and tomato purée

Serves 8
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Generally I don't like the term purée – it sounds to me like a term for French baby food. It also reminds me too much of food from the 1980s – bland and softly textured – but I can think of no word to replace it here. This sweet, surprisingly delicate combination is just that. It works beautifully with autumn's game birds.

1kg/2lb ripe tomatoes – they are still just about in season
1kg/2lb small young beetroots
60g/21/2oz unsalted butter
1 tbsp crème fraîche
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Scrub the beetroots well and place in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Add a good pinch of salt and place over a medium heat. When the water comes to a boil, turn down the heat very slightly and simmer until the beets are tender. This will take approximately 45 minutes.

While they are cooking, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Slice the tomatoes in half and lay on a roasting tray. Season generously with salt and pepper and place on the middle shelf of the oven. Roast for 15 minutes; the tomatoes will be soft and steaming. Set aside and allow to cool.

When the beetroots are tender, remove from the heat and drain. Allow to sit until they are cool enough to handle, then slip their skins off using your fingers. Place both vegetables into a food processor and process until you have a soft purée. Now add the butter, the crème fraîche, a good pinch of salt and plenty of black pepper. Purée once more. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. This purée can be gently warmed through on the hob.

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